National Photovoltaic Analysis along the Belt and Road: Saudi Arabia



Saudi Arabia basic data

Saudi Arabia has a total population of approximately 33 million people and uses oil exports as its main source of income.

In 2018, the government began to actively encourage investment, efforts to promote internal reforms, and the expectation that oil output will begin to increase gradually, driving the confidence of the entire market. In 2018, the amount of overseas direct investment (FDI) reached 3.5 billion US dollars, compared with nearly 2.5 times in 2017. The international credit rating agency Fitch also set the rating of Saudi Arabia to A+ in the middle of 2018. The outlook is stable.

In terms of climate, the whole environment is desert climate, hot in summer and cold in winter, and summer in April-October. The climate is hot and the highest temperature can reach 50 degrees. The winter season from January to March is about 5 degrees Celsius. However, due to the summer time of up to 7 months, the local average annual sunshine can reach 2,200-2,400 kWh per average meter.

Saudi Arabia's renewable energy development

By the end of 2017, nearly half of Saudi Arabia's energy installed capacity came from steam (47%), followed by double-cycle power generation (27%) and gas (26%). Diesel only accounted for a very small proportion. Renewable energy is not included in the source of power generation. The reason may be that renewable energy began to receive attention from the government in 2017, but the progress at that time was mostly concentrated in the stage of policy research and promotion. The demand has not yet been reflected, so it is not included in the source of power generation. project.


Source: Finished from Saudi Electricity Company Annual report 2017

Overview of Saudi Arabia's PV Market Policy and Development

In 2017, the National Renewable Energy Program Vision2030 was launched. It plans to reach 20GW of PV installed capacity by the end of 2022 and further achieve the 40GW installed target by 2030.


At this stage, the bidding for PPA is the mainstay of electricity price bidding. In February 2018, a 300MW bidding project was completed. The local developer ACWA thought that the price per kWh of 0.08872 riyals (SAR) is equivalent to US$0.0236 per kWh. Won the bid.

On the other hand, according to government planning, this year (2019) is expected to bid for a total of 2.225GW of PV projects.

At the end of January this year, the government has released a total of 1.51GW of PV bidding plans. These projects are part of the 2.225GW bidding project expected to be launched this year. The largest project is located in Alfaisalia, with a tender volume of 600MW, followed by four. A 300MW project is located in Rabigh, Jeddah, Saad, Alras and other places.

The locations and tenders for the expected development of each project in 2019 are as follows:


If the above-mentioned tenders are completed by the end of 2019, it is expected that the grid-connected aircraft will be completed in 2020-2021, and the average installed capacity per year will reach 1.1GW or more. However, the cumulative installation of 20GW in the first phase in 2023 is still very far away. Therefore, in order to achieve the goal, the government is expected to continue to bid for projects or new PV policies to stimulate demand in 2019-2022.

Import and export analysis of photovoltaic components in Saudi Arabia

According to the PV InfoLink China Customs Export Database, the number of PV modules exported from China to Saudi Arabia in the year 2018 is 76.66 MW, which is three times the number of component exports compared to 2017. Most of the components shipped in 2018 are expected to be used. The 300MW large-scale project that completed the bidding in 2018.

Component shipments in 2019 are expected to rise again. One of its growth momentum is to meet the remaining demand for the 300MW bidding project completed in 2018. The second is that the government is expected to complete the 2.225GW project bid before the end of 2019. If the bidding plan is completed as expected by the government, it is expected that the construction of the goods will begin in the late 2019.

In 2020, under the current government's unreleased policy information, the component demand for the year is still expected to meet the bidding project completed in 2019.



Saudi Arabia has promoted renewable energy development since 2017. In the National Renewable Energy Program Vision2030, PV will reach a cumulative installed capacity of 40GW by 2030, and it will also have a market demand of 3.3GW per year in 2018-2029. At present, the PV market is bidding for PPA to stimulate demand, and plans to complete the bidding for a total of 2.225GW projects in 2019, of which 1.551GW is expected to complete the tender in early 2019.

The number of bidding projects currently underway is far less than the target number of 40GW, so it is expected that the government will continue to introduce new bidding plans and policies to meet demand in the future.